Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bring the 4 4 2 back Arsene. Player analysis and ratings Vs Portsmouth

By 1970’s Gooner

There are two aspects of Arsenal’s play and formation that are stifling the creativity of the team. If they are not corrected then we may find it very difficult to get a result at Goodison Park against an Everton side that will not be satisfied with a draw like Portsmouth were tonight.

The first concerns the role of Fabregas in connection with Hleb’s free roaming role. What is actually happening is that Hleb is not only depriving Adebayor of the support that his play craves for but his dropping deep in the middle of the park actually inhibits Fabregas.

Fabregas is taking a step back to allow Hleb to dictate play but this means that his creative brain and penetrative passing are really being missed.

As a result Adebayor is playing a really lone role up front. This was belatedly corrected with the introduction of Bendtner in the last part of the game and almost immediately Nicklas created very good scoring chances.

What is clearly needed is the reintroduction of 4 4 2 with the return of Van Persie or if he is not fit then Bendtner should be paired with Adebayor. Hleb should be told to keep to the left of midfield and Rosicky on the right. Let Fabregas run the show again and then we will see more chances created and hopefully goals again.


Very assured and safe. Came out very fast to make Benjani rush his decision when he was one on one against him. 8


Had a good game. Defended well and went forward a lot in tandem with Eboue. 7


Strong and determined. Kept Benjani mostly quiet and got back very well to put him off when he raced through on his own. 8


Had a sound game and nearly scored near the end of the game. 7


Played well and also went forward but no luck. 7

It must be said that the defenders had a relatively easy time of it as Portsmouth were more concerned about defending rather than going forward much.


Was quite mobile and was up for it tonight. Tried one very dangerous shot from outside the box which James saved very well. 7


Was trying to make the play dropping deep but the movement off the ball seems to be a lot less from the rest of the players. 7


Was very much involved in the play form the off combining well with Sagna. However his crosses and attempted cut backs left a lot to be desired. He needs to improve on these if he is to keep his place in the team. 6.5


Was rather quiet in the first half probably due to Hleb’s tendency to drop deep although he did try to make those ghost runs into the box. Came more into the fore in the second half and as a result Arsenal looked more threatening. 6.5


He played his normal game of protecting the defence and breaking up play. 7


“Too lonely this Xmas”. I feel sorry for him really. He needs some support. But he tried his best under the circumstances. 7


: took some time to get into the game and lost the ball too often. 6

Bendtner: made an impact as any substitute ought to. Helped create a very good chance for Rosicky which he should have buried. 7


Anonymous said...

Rosicky should score or watch from the bench...Hope we sign a winger in January, we really need one who can score (rosicky/hleb/eboue just can't)

All the team is very tired, passes were not on time, delayed, bad controls, uninspired runs...

We should definitely rest some of them and give Bendtner/Diaby/Walcott a run once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis but I still feel a simple swap of Bendtner for Adebayor at the start would make a large difference. Adebayor can not play the Arsenal way; look at the number of offsides, bad passes, and ball losses he has accumulated. But Mr. Wenger is stubborn with self-belief in his "squad."

Anonymous said...

yup, i would have preferred bendtner to adebayor too. made me cringe when i see him on the left wing with rosicky already there!

felt that we missed van persie's trickery to unlock a stubborn defence, can't remember a decent pass from adebayor the whole game really! :(

Anonymous said...

oh ya, forgot to add that clichy and rosicky played well but felt that most of our guys played underpar really..

Anonymous said...

It is embarassing to see such an ordinary player like Adebayor playing for Arsenal!It is also sad to all the exciting lead up play break down when it reaches Adebayor because he is either offside or cannot control the ball or loses the ball or falls over the ball or passes to the opposition or.....all bad! Arsene wake up!!!

Anonymous said...

cmon i agree with 70's. we need two forwards out there. 4 4 2

Anonymous said...

plese dont start the.....ohh the players are so tired again nonsene.Several of them havnt exactly been playng for a while.Did united seem tired today ? no no they went for the jugular like they always have during fregies tenure.Let us go for the Fa cup we might still have a chance of winning that one.

Anonymous said...

Has to be back 4-4-2 we havent played well for so long now. Bentdner looked class when he's on, adebayor is so frustrating! Eboue has no composure, will never score! Fabragas off colour, its not a great place to be over Xmas!

Also, Im sure Wenger always leaves the players out for longer then they need to be?

Anonymous said...

Somebody teach Ade the offside rule please!!!

Anonymous said...

Why adebayor always in the starting 11? i wish bendtner would start or new signing.. berbatov, santa cruz or benzema shud be good..

Anonymous said...

Nobody in their right mind would give Adebayor more than a 5. Same goes for Eboue. They were both Terrible.

Rosicky was man of the match as can be seen by your own poll.

Usually I agree with your ratings, but today they are quite off.

Lost Soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lost Soul said...

its just weird how some people change their stand so easily. I was never adebayor's fan but i must say, when he was playing pretty well in the beginning of the year, i didnt hear anyone saying that he didnt look arsenal quality. all right, admitted that they(fabregas,hleb,ade) arent playing that well at this moment, but the way some of you turned on ade especially is saddening. anonymous at 1:01, i cant possibly believe that you're a real gooner.
anyways, it was a tough match. Rosicky was our best performer in the final third but ironically, he probably missed the best chance that fell arsenal's way. bendtner looked very classy after coming on and maybe the manager will freshen it up at the weekend.
You made a great point about fabregas and hleb and ade.
If anything, ade is probably playing soo poorly because of the lack of support and fabregas because hleb's in his way almost. I really think ade gave his best and though he was poor, it was for a lack of support not for a lack of effort. to be fair, we barely got going and most of the play broke down before it reached ade.

Its only a point you know.

Anonymous said...

we want van persie!
adebayor is terrible

Anonymous said...

the thing is our performance today was just under par.. and also Wenger didn't know Adebayor was the one who must be substituted instead of Hleb. Adebayor is simply not good enough for Arsenal, or politely say he is not fit in our style of play.
some people always say Adebayor is good but just lack of support because of the role of lone striker. but there were too many times when he got the chance he just easily wasted it. and the most important thing is for most of time he couldn't even hold the ball his team mates passed to him well then how he could take those chances?
in my opinion Kanu is better than Adebayor. he is more sutible for us even in his now age. Wenger really should give others a try.

Anonymous said...

Goddammit, no wonder we didn't score, we really need robin van persie up front becasue adebayor cannot finish as well as RVP does, and we do need bendter as well, I'n thinking a RVP and Bendter up front for the big big matches, and maybe Adebayor and Eduardo for the little easier matches, because right now we are one point behind man utd thanks to a 0-0 draw at Porsmouth, so if we were to pick ourselves up, we really really need RVP up front.

Anonymous said...

need rvp back!!!! plain and simple

Anonymous said...

and the interesting thing is if it's nothing to do with ball controls but half volley or one touch shot, then Adebayor would probably do it better.
by the way, i think both Fabregas and Hleb can be our attacking starter, good vision and ball controlling skills. they can cover each other very well and let their markers defend in vain. if both of them are in good form, they are a very strong combination.

Willy Kamanzi said...

It`s becoming frustrating how people always use Adebayor as the scapegoat when things don`t go well! Did you see Fabregas yesterday? He had a POOR game , he`s lost the form he had at the beginning of the season, Rosicky went forward a lot but most of the time, Fabregas didn`t ask for the ball as he usually does. Even Clichy tried many times to go forward but once again Fabregas didn`t ask for the ball.
ADEBAYOR GAVE HIM A NICE PASS at the beginning of the game but he couldn`t control well.
There was no link between our midfield players and the *LONE* striker Adebayor. Even Hleb who was supposed to help Adebayor up front was leaving the attack, dropping deep.
Yes Adebayor`s passing is shit but who did pass well last night ??? NO ONE , only BENDTNER !!!! Adebayor has been playing as a LONE striker for a long time in a 4-5-1 system, but managed to score 10 GOALS with 2 defenders on him most of the time.
Only Drogba can play like that, even Rooney can`t do any better without Tevez or Saha alongside him, the problem is not Adebayor , the problem is the 4-5-1 SYSTEM !!! That works well only in the Champions League where clean sheets are important.
Let`s go back to our 4-4-2 we`re more dangerous and we get more chances, we should have started with Bendtner and Adebayor, I don`t think Campbell and Distin would have coped with the 2 tall strikers !!!

Let`s stop criticizing Adebayor, he brings a lot to the team , yes he misses chances and he doesn`t always pass well but he should get credit for his work ethic (defenders hate playing against him as he`s strong and runs a lot, put pressure on them all the time), all he needs is someone next to him , like van Persie ! So Robin please come back!
What happened to RvP anyway? Is he injured again? He`s our most skillfull striker , a player who can change a game in a minute ,
Almunia is getting better and better by the way , great decision-making !!! Walcott and Bendtner have added something everytime they stepped in , so it`s time for Eboué to be on the bench, maybe he`d be more dangerous if he is a substitute.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Bendtner had done more in a minute than Adebayor could in the whole match.
Why instead of Adebayor was Hleb taken off the second Hleb started his trademark dribbling which drew Pompey a yellow card tackle?
I hope Wenger can open up his eyes and realise that class is more important than the ability to score. Look at Kanu down the other end. How many times did he lose the ball? How many times did he play someone through?

Anonymous said...

I think we all gave Adebayor plenty of time to improve. We should be honest and realize that he isn't capable of improving. Sure he runs alot but that didn't seen to slow down the two ancient defenders at the back!

Anonymous said...

I have a recent feeling after Manu was interested in Adebayor that he has become too lazy and thinks as if he is the next henry. He always plays well against smaller team and does not raise his game against bigger opponents. I rate him at 5th striker, Arsenal has. The first two being Eduardo and RVP with Bendner in the bench and walcott following him. I seriously feel Eduardo deserves a chance especially if we are playing 4-5-1

Anonymous said...

I have a recent feeling after Manu was interested in Adebayor that he has become too lazy and thinks as if he is the next henry. He always plays well against smaller team and does not raise his game against bigger opponents. I rate him at 5th striker, Arsenal has. The first two being Eduardo and RVP with Bendner in the bench and walcott following him. I seriously feel Eduardo deserves a chance especially if we are playing 4-5-1

Wrighty7 said...

The 451 can work for us but it also leaves Ade isolated upfront as Hleb drops too deep to dictate play. It hinders Cesc as well. 442 allows us to be to be more fluent and play our usual game. Last nite Pompey played for a point and got it, so lets give them some credit for containing us. If this is our bad run for the year i'll take it. We're not losing, this is a game we'd have lost last season!